University highlights importance of Islamic Finance education

KUALA LUMPUR: With the rising importance of Islamic Finance in the global financial services industry, the University of Reading Malaysia is positioning itself to be a leader in the delivery of higher education programmes centred on the discipline.

Henley Business School at the University of Reading Malaysia acknowledges the growing demand from financial institutions worldwide for specialist professionals trained in Islamic finance practices. In February 2017, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), paving the way for the two organisations to offer a Master’s degree in Investment Banking and Islamic Finance, along with INCEIF’s Professional Certificate in Islamic Finance, specialising in Islamic Capital Market.

In April, the university formed a similar partnership with Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) to collaborate on tertiary level training programmes on Islamic finance.

The partnership aimed to produce graduates accustomed to developments in the Islamic financial services sector, equipped with strong foundations and good basic skill sets, with the ability to meet current industry needs and trends.
In line with the university’s aim in promoting education on Islamic Finance, Associate Professor in Finance at Henley Business School at the University of Reading Malaysia, Dr Nafis Alam was invited as a workshop director on Fintech and Islamic Finance at the 2018 Gulf Research Meeting, hosted at the University of Cambridge.

The workshop, titled ‘Fintech, Digital Currency and the Future of Islamic Finance in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)- Strategy, Operational and Regulatory Issues’, is organised by the Gulf Research Centre at the University of Cambridge.
It will take place from July 31 until August 3. The workshop will include speakers from both academia and industry, who will share their views on the themes of Fintech, digital currencies and the future of Islamic finance.

The workshop will be managed and run by Dr Alam, who aims to explore how Islamic finance stakeholders and regional financial institutions in the GCC are viewing developments in Fintech, and whether they plan to integrate them into their business models.

Dr Alam, who teaches Securities Futures and Options, Corporate Finance, and Islamic Banking to undergraduate and postgraduate students of Henley Business School at the University of Reading Malaysia, also recently published a book on Islamic Finance, titled Islamic Finance – A Practical Perspective.

He said it is a fitting time for higher education institutions to be advancing the delivery of education on Islamic finance and Fintech.

“In order to provide quality education in Islamic finance, there is a need for quality text books and reference materials. My book is a timely publication to fill that gap. Readers can understand the Islamic finance concepts and their application in the real world. Islamic finance has emerged as a key component of the global finance scene, and Malaysia is at the forefront of it.

“There is a demand for graduates to work in the Islamic finance sector and programmes such as the MSc Investment Banking and Islamic Finance will provide the platform to produce highly skilled graduates who are fit for the industry.” (Borneo Bulletin)